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Building Pharaoh's Chariot

  • Education

Summary

Documentary following the efforts of archaeologists, engineers, woodworkers and horse-trainers as they build and test two replicas of Ancient Egyptian royal chariots to determine whether they could have marked a crucial turning point in military history.

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Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Experimental archaeology – where ancient skills are revisited to assess their past success – is brought out again to explore how the ancient Egyptians used the war chariot to help build and consolidate the biggest empire in the world around 3,500 years ago.

A carriage maker, a harness maker and a military expert work closely with local craftsmen (and it’s nice to see modern Egypt in a context of daily working life rather than in political turmoil) to create a fast, flexible vehicle that the likes of Tuthmosis III would have used at the celebrated battle of Megiddo.

Inevitably there are problems – kicking horses being the least of them – but a good picture is painted of Egyptian military prowess.

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